The Cichlid Fishes of Lake Malawi, Africa

Synopsis of Publication

Greenwood, P.H. 1978. A review of the pharyngeal apophysis and its significance in the classification of African cichlid fishes. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History), Zoology 33 (5): 297-323.  

Ethological evidence has cast some doubts on the phylogenetic validity of the tacitly accepted division of African cichlid genera into 'Haplochromis' and 'Tilapia' groups. This paper reviews the structure and morphology of the pharyngeal apophysis, the skull character on which the original two-group hypothesis was formulated. The revision shows that many of the original 'Tilapia' group genera have a distinct apophyseal form and structure (the Tropheus type) which at least in some structural features, shows greater affinity with the 'Haplochromis' type than with the 'Tilapia' one, and that a fourth type (the 'Tylochromis' one) must also be recognized. The only formally proposed subfamilial classification of African, Asian and American cichlids was based on the pharyngeal apophysis and must now be rejected.




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